ORGAN THING: Art dropping, trumpet blowing, Brick Lane, Sclater Street, starz in the Star Yard, 36 more paintings hung on the streets of East London…


A #365ArtDrop18 painting, East London, November 2018

Pass my big yellow and green trumpet and put your fingers in your ears, I’m going to blow the damn thing again. Hey, so much time is spent spend around here blowing so many trumpets for other people – look at this, go to this, check that out, there’s a great art show happening over there, look at her paintings, go see his sculpture while you can, none stop blowing of oter people’s trumpets, so, well, what the hell, if you’ve got a problem with a little bit of very tuneful free form blowing my own trumpet then please take yourself off to the previous page or wait for the next one while I get all Dizzy Gillespie for a moment or two and blow the hell out of this thing and tell you about last Sunday morning and the drops and John Michel Jarre bits and Brick Lane and the Rough Trade shop and Monty’s Bar and the Star Yard and twenty out of date chocolate bars for a quid on Sclater Street and getting tangled up with one of those street art walking tours and getting mobbed for photos and signatures and well. it happened something like this…


A #365ArtDrop18 painting, East London, November 2018

Last Sunday morning saw the latest thirty six or so carefully placed (never actually dropped) art drop pieces that will eventually make up the 365 paintings of the currently ongoing year-long #365ArtDrop18 piece. This particular piece started back on January 1st on the Hackney Road with a piece painted on a large piece of white hardboard picked up off the street a few days before. During the year the piece has taken in the Byline festival, this year’s Deptford X, the Leytonstone Arts Trail, adventures down by the Thames, the Southbank, art left in Fulham, in Soho, Walthamstow, Hammersmith, the West End, Kings Cross, Hackney, Bethnal Green, Shoredirch, Bermondsey, Chelsea and so many other places (true, I haven’t escaped London that much this year), art left at railway stations, music venues, at festivals in Sussex (that was the Byline thing), hang on the streets during the Mayfair Art Weekend. 365 paintings on found recycled material, things found lying on the street, wood pulled out of skips, out of bins, canvas found thrown out around the back of galleries, old frames, bits of an old fridge, vinyl records, smashed up furniture, there;s always something to paint on. The only real rule of the piece is that the paintings must be on something found, something that has been thrown away, something no longer wanted and heading for landfill.  365 paintings through out the year, 365 paintings on things found on the street, 365 painting left hanging back out on the street for people to take should they wish to during 2018


A #365ArtDrop18 painting, East London, November 2018

A big part of the piece is the engagement that comes with leaving work hanging on the street, leaving work with a hashtag and an open invitation to engage on the back. Sometimes it is good to get out beyond an art gallery, some of those galleries can be very unfriendly places, not all of them, but so many of them are rather unfriendly unwelcoming places, one of the things the #365ArtDrop18 piece is the people who choose to take the pieces that have been left, it is part of the point of the piece that people take them and enjoy being part of it all.  It is about engagement, about the enjoyment both for me as an artist and hopefully for the people who choose to take the paintings. The hashtag on the back of the #365ArtDrop18 pieces is very important, as are the photos and the tales that other people post on their social media feeds and such. . And so last Sunday  36 more parts of the piece, mostly painted on wood from a smashed up piece of wooded furniture pulled from a Hackney skip, were left hanging around the streets of East London (it isn’t about one piece a day, more about 365 over the whole year). of those 36 paintings left out Sunday we’ve heard of pieces being taken by people from Baltimore, from Rome, from London of course, from Manchester, from Jordan and from France, we’ve seen photos of people with their pieces posted on their Instagram accounts and such, there’s been e.mails from people, messages left on Facebook and such. We don’t hear about the fate of all the pieces of course, I guess some of them might well end up in landfill anyway, we do get some great stories and some excellent photos from people though, a big part of this, the second year-long 365 art drop piece, is the engagement and the people. I love art galleries, they can be wonderful places, but they can also so often be aloof unfriendly, elitist attitudes, unwelcoming places, sometimes almost arrogantly so, art does sometimes need to get out and engage



I love art galleries, I love white walls and reverential silence, I love putting on shows in galleries, I like spending quiet time in white cubes, but I do like reaching beyond the conventions of art galleries and to those who find them unfriendly unwelcoming places. I’m really enjoying this year-long piece, I did it once in 2015 and enjoyed it so much I thought I’d do it again this year. The piece is about many things to me, the piece is about engagement, about the way we waste so many things, about resources, the piece is about the stories of others, about the finders, the conversations, there’s been so much in terms of e.mails and stories and photographs from all over the globe. I do try to do it without people seeing me or knowing who I am, did have some fun when I accidentally got caught up in one of those street art walking tours yesterday though. The piece is the photos of the paintings hanging, I do take some time to find the right place for each piece, the right walls, the right colours, and yes, the hooks or nails, the pieces are only ever hung on nails to hooks that are already there, no knocking nails in to other people street art, when a piece is hung it is never intended to be permanent, it is only there until someone chooses to take it, no one;’s art is ever harmed 9some of those damn street artists can get touchy about these things)


An art drop found and off to Rome 

And so 36 paintings were left hanging around the Brick Lane area of East London last Sunday morning, some were taken straight away, some may still be out there, here are the fractured photos taken in the very bright Autumn light, the dropping goes on this week and next week and until that last day of 2018 (sw)

Click on an image to enlarge or to run the fractured slide show




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